Sunday, November 9, 2008

Candidates in tight races wait anxiously

With as little as a 13-vote separation in some races Thursday, candidates anxiously awaited final election results as Contra Costa election workers tabulated a record number of uncounted ballots.

The first results update is expected to be on the county election Web site ( late this afternoon, Contra Costa registrar of voters Steve Weir said.

In the county's tightest race, Hercules City Council candidate John Delgado held a 13-vote lead for the final seat on the board.

"I'm guardedly optimistic. We'll see what happens," he said.

The Hercules race has some 1,073 uncounted absentee and provisional ballots. Some of those ballots could be for other districts, which would drop that number. However, there are also about 35,000 uncounted ballots that have not been sorted by area.

Representatives from the Hercules council, the Pinole council and the District 5 supervisor's races spent portions of Thursday observing vote-counting at the Martinez headquarters, Weir said.

About 11 races across the county remain tight enough to garner attention from the elections office.

Weir said he plans to periodically update results but hopes to have most ballots counted by Thanksgiving. The final results must be certified and sent to the secretary of state by Dec. 2.

In addition to uncounted vote-by-mail and provisional ballots, Weir's office must also sort out these:

About 2,900 ballots that would not run Advertisementthrough machines, leading to review.

About 400 ballots being challenged because they were late or had no signature or a questionable one.

About 300 military or overseas ballots that were faxed.

  • Wet harvest adds to cattle farmers’ woes
  • Extra postage due on Contra Costa ballots
  • Low turnout expected for state primary vote
  • Registrars predict record voter turnout in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties